I'm passionate about discovering new countries - I've been to 121 independent countries, dependent territories and partially recognised countries so far. Some countries get many tourists, some others get less, an some others do not get almost any at all. Such country is Saudi Arabia which basically hasn't issue tourist visas at all until very recently. But when it was finally announced that tourist visas were available with an easy online application I quickly decided to go. The visa application took five minutes to fill, there were no tricky questions, I paid SAR 463 (about 111 € including insurance) and I got the visa by e-mail half an hour later. I believe that tourism makes countries more open so I think that this is a very positive step.
Business class flights to Riyadh are almost always more expensive than to Dubai or Abu Dhabi. The best choice was eventually to book an open jaw Royal Jordanian flight from Paris to Riyadh with a return to Istanbul for which I had a very reasonably priced deal in business class.
Keflavík to Paris, Icelandair, business class Paris to Amman, Royal Jordanian, business class Amman to Riyadh, Royal Jordanian, business class Riyadh to Amman, Royal Jordanian, business class Amman to Istanbul, Royal Jordanian, business class Istanbul to Vienna, Turkish Airlines, economy
I arrived to Keflavík Airport, a 50 kms / 45 minutes drive from Reykjavík, at 05.55. The check-in area was quite empty as most passengers checked in either earlier or on-line.
The morning departures. Yes, you see it correctly: there are only Icelandair flights this time of the day. WOW went bankrupt in March 2019 and although its resurrection was announced under various names it didn't occur.
Priority security control is available for business class passengers. I was trough in about five minutes.
The duty free shop after security has the largest choice of chocolate and alcohol in Iceland
You have to go towards the gates to reach Keflavík Airport's only lounge, the Icelandair Saga Lounge. Here are the main access rules:
The entrance of the lounge:
There were many people at the lounge. It didn't feel however crowded as it's quite big.
Breakfast spread was good.
The choice of coffee:
Soft drinks and beers. Wines and liquors are also available but it was so early in the morning…
Priority boarding was available at the gate and was very useful even in boarding was eventually by bus. The bus driver’s screen showed that there were a total of 174 passengers on this flight. Boarding was completed quickly.
Icelandair’s business class has a 2+2 configuration, with recliner seats similar to US Domestic First Class. It’s a lot better than Eurobusiness (three economy seats with standard legroom with the middle seat blocked) offered by most European airlines and is therefore very comfortable for flights between Iceland and Europe. It’s however less comfortable than business class on most widebody flights between Europe and the US/Canada. Note that seats 1AD and 2DF are bulkhead seats as there are no seats 1DF.
Legroom is good although some airlines that offer a similar 2+2 configuration have larger legroom.
Icelandic bottled water was waiting at the seats.
A cherry and cardamom good morning shot was offered as a welcome drink. It was quite good.
An expected flight time of three hours was announced for a block time of three hours and 25 minutes.
De-icing was however long. Push back was only at 08.05 and take-off at 08.12 for a scheduled departure time 07.35.
A hot towel was offered 15 minutes after take-off and breakfast was served a short time later. It was tasty, quite original, plentiful and a huge improvement compared to the last time I had breakfast on Icelandair’s business class.
Business class headphones
The in-flight entertainment selection is quite good, although some of the movies have been offered for several years now.
This short documentary about Icelandair’s investment in Capo Verde was interesting
We reached the Hebrides at about half way to Paris.
Nice view en route to Paris.
We entered France near Dieppe.
We landed at 12.10 for a scheduled arrival time of 12.00, so almost completely on time. We had a nice view on this United aircraft before we reached our parking position at 12.26 after a planespotting tour.
As I only had a hand luggage I was out of the terminal building only 9 minutes after the plane’s door was open.
Thank you for reading my flight report and please feel free to comment.
Saga Lounge - Principal/Main
Reykjavík - KEF
Paris - CDG
Icelandair offers a solid business class product for flights between Iceland and Europe with US Domestic First-type business class seats, good food and a good choice of in-flight entertainment.
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